After a long summer with some major moves, the Red Wings are back in action tonight, hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2015-16 home opener.
A familiar face will be behind the Toronto bench, as Mike Babcock jumped ship from Detroit to move on to the Maple Leafs during the offseason. Former Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill now leads the Red Wings.
Blashill isn’t the only new addition to the Wings. Free agent signings Brad Richards and Mike Green will be making their Detroit debuts, as will rookie Dylan Larkin, who impressed enough during the preseason to not just make the opening night lineup but earn a spot on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.
Detroit will be without Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, and Danny DeKeyser due to injury. Helm could be back next week while neither Datsyuk nor DeKeyser is expected to return until November.
With Datsyuk out, Richards will center the second line with Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. Kyle Quincey will replace DeKeyser as Green’s defense partner.
Joakim Andersson, Tomas Jurco, and Alexey Marchenko will be healthy scratches for the Red Wings. Xavier Ouellet and Daniel Cleary had been with the team but were assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins yesterday.
Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal for Detroit, with Petr Mrazek scheduled to start tomorrow against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Stupid stat of the day: In the last two decades, the Red Wings have lost only once on October 9. The opponent in that loss? The Toronto Maple Leafs.
Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD and Fox 2 Detroit.